Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said Friday in Washington that Israel would not accept a World Court ruling on the legality of the West Bank separation wall, calling the U.S. to block any UN possible action against Israel.
Speaking following a meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Shalom also said that Israel is committed to dismantling all unauthorized West Bank settlers’ outpost.
Israel, after six weeks delay, handed the U.S. a list of 28 outposts. Peace Now settlement watch unit reported that more than a hundred unauthorized outposts exist.
‘We believe that Israel can deal with this issue by itself, we can’t accept any external involvement from the International Court of Justice.’ Shalom said.
‘This issue should be discussed between the two parties – the Israelis and the Palestinians – with other members that are involved in the peace process,’ Shalom added.
Shalom said he was asking the United States to do ‘everything it can’ to block passage of a Palestinian-backed UN resolution on the West Bank barrier.
There is no discussion between Palestinians and Israelis over all issues, including the wall. Israel claims the absence of a Palestinian partner and refuses to conduct any negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.
Sharon’s unilateral disengagement plan was presented based on the absence of partner claim.
The International Court of Justice will render its judgment in a public hearing on July 9, one of the most high-profile rulings in its 58-year history.
Even as the court advisory ruling is not binding, Israel fears that the UN General Assembly could use it to lobby for sanctions against Israel.
Sources in Washington reported that Shalom told Rice disengagement will be approved by March 1, 2005.
Concerning the Egyptian initiative, Shalom complained to Rice over the two month extension given to the PA by Egypt to implement security reforms, calling for an immediate implementation of such reforms.
The Israeli foreign minister rejected the idea of convening a ‘small quartet’ consisting of Israel, the United States, Egypt and the PA. Egypt proposed for a ministerial level meeting to take place in Washington in October.